The Malta Independent 19 January 2020, Sunday

BOV Premier League: Balzan repeat first round result over struggling Wanderers

Chris Cassar Saturday, 11 January 2020, 19:38 Last update: about 7 days ago
Photo: Trevor Sollars
Photo: Trevor Sollars

Sliema W              1
Balzan                   2

Sliema: E. Elezaj, M. Sansone (J. P. Farrugia 79'), A. Satariano (C. Zappa 46'), K. Shaw, J. Mintoff, M. Scerri, F. Vasilchik, J. Cisotti, A. Oyama, C. Pani (E. Agius 56'), G. Adamovic

Balzan: K. Naumovski, A. Loof, N. Slijivic, S. Pisani, S. Bezzina, P. Fenech, U. Ljubomirac, I. Bozovic, A. Faria (D. Camilleri 81'), A. Majdevac (S. Arab 87'), L. Montebello (A. Effiong 72')                                                             


Yellow cards C. Pani 26' (S), I. Bozovic 39' (B), A. Oyama 43' (S), A. Loof 62' (B), M. Sansone 63' (S), K. Shaw 80' (S), S. Arab 88'(B)

Scorers: U. Ljubomirac 9', L. Montebello 49' (B), C. Zappa 67' (S)

Referee: Emanuel Grech

Ass. Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Luke Portelli

BOV Player of the match:  Luke Montebello (Balzan)

TMI Best three: 1. L. Montebello, 2. J. Cisotti, 3. P. Fenech

Attendenza: 403

Balzan beat Sliema Wanderers by the odd goal in three yesterday, a repeat result of the first round with Balzan making a double over struggling Sliema.

Balzan have now moved to a much more stable position in the table, whilst for Sliema this setback leaves the team in a dangerous position in the relegation zone.

With Santa Lucia's point against Valletta and Mosta's handsome victory over Tarxien, Sliema's position in the standings is becoming more embarassing.

Balzan deserved their victory as they were the better team for long stretches of the game, created the best chances, even missing a glorious opportunity from the penalty spot.

Balzan deservedly built a two-goal cushion at the start of the second half and looked set for a more comfortable victory. However the Blues had other ideas and after pulling one back half way through the second half, the game was a completely different affair.

Sliema were now in the game and Balzan had some anxious moments at the back with Naumovski distinguishing himself with some good saves. Sliema scored a late equaliser but the goal was disallowed.

Balzan were the better team from the start, they immediately settled down and pinned their opponents on the defensive. On nine minutes Balzan took the lead when Luke Montebello, who had a great game, passed towards Uros Ljubomirac who shot home from close range.

Two minutes later the same Ljubomirac was again on the mark, but this time his goal was disallowed for an offside infringement. Slkiema's first attempt at goal came on 19 minutes with Mintoff opening up towards Cisotti, whose fierce drive was well saved by Naumovski.

On 27 minutes Balzan had a golden opportunity to increase their lead when Faria Machado was floored by Kurt Shaw, but Majdevac's shot from the penalty spot was brilliantly saved by Elezaj. Seven minutes later Elezaj again came to Sliema's rescue saving off Ljubomirac who was saved by Dutch defender Loof.

Four minutes into the second half Balzan doubled the score when Luke Montebello, well served by Machado, neatly rounded a defender before beating Elezaj with a precise grounder. Balzan continued to attack with a Steve Pisani effort going inches wide.

It looked rather easy for Balzan, but it was not to be as substitute Claudio Zappa drilled the ball past Naumovski on 67 minutes. Sliema were now brimming with confidence as they went in search for an unexpected equaliser.

Balzan struggled with Naumovski making a great save off Cisotti with twelve minutes to go. On 83 minutes the Wanderers managed to put the ball at the back of the net but the goal was disallowed for an offside position.

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